“Platform workers are well on their way to enjoying their rights!”

Yesterday, the Council finally approved the agreement reached on February 8, 2024, between the Council Presidency and the European Parliament on the Platform Work Directive.

EFFAT welcomes this new legal framework, which will help improve the situation of food delivery drivers in our sectors.

In many Member States, platform workers are frequently misclassified as self-employed, resulting in their exclusion from fundamental social protection measures, such as social security, sick leave, and holidays.

The new directive is set to be a game-changer. Member States will have to establish a presumption of employment at the national level, triggered when facts indicating control and direction are found. These facts will be determined based on national legislation and collective agreements, while taking into account EU case law.

While EFFAT regrets that no agreement has been reached on harmonised criteria at the EU level for the reclassification of platform workers, the role given to workers’ representatives to invoke the presumption of employment alongside national authorities and platform workers is a remarkable success.

The platform has the opportunity to challenge the presumption of employment, but the responsibility to provide evidence rests with the platform, not with platform workers. This is a significant milestone considering the vulnerability of platform workers, mostly young, with a migration background, and in a precarious position.

Alongside the directive brings about positive change regarding the protection of platform workers against algorithmic management practices. Platform workers and their representatives receive transparent information regarding the use of automated or decision-making systems. The text also guarantees increased human oversight on decisions made by systems that directly impact individuals engaged in platform work.

The directive contains some important provisions on the information and consultation of platform workers and their representatives.

Finally, the directive ensures that people performing platform work through intermediaries enjoy the same level of protection as those with a direct contractual relationship. The latter is an important win, as EFFAT has been intensively calling for equal treatment through a legally binding initiative on labor intermediaries and fair working conditions in subcontracting chains.

Kristjan Bragason, commenting on the political deal, said: “Today we have a reason to celebrate. Platform workers will soon benefit from the protection of an employment status and enjoy better working conditions. This directive lays the foundations for fair competition for platforms and equal treatment, while taking an important step forward against social dumping.”

EFFA is urging all Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to promptly adopt the Directive during the April EP Plenary, and it calls on all Member States to transpose it in due course.